Tripling of car fires in December leaves police baffled

Lachlan Roberts 3 January 2019 11

The remnants of a burnt out car in Casey. Photo: George Tsotsos.

Another car fire in Canberra’s south on the last day of 2018 has brought the number of car fires in Canberra in the past month to a staggering 56 cases, causing police to ask for the public’s help.

From car fires in school car parks to suburban streets and the ACT’s national parks, firefighters have been kept busy with a spate of incidents across the nation’s capital in December, nearly tripling the November total of 20.

Four cars were set alight on Christmas Day alone, including one in the car park at the Gold Creek School in Nicholls and others in Symonston, Wanniassa and Narrabundah. On the weekend of 8-9 December, eight cars were reported on fire, with fires in Wanniassa, Forrest, Page, Duffy, Hawker, Bonner and Fraser.

Car Fire at Gold Creek School

Approximately at 10am today (December 25th) firefighters arrived at Gold Creek School to extinguish a car fire.

Posted by Breaking247 on Monday, 24 December 2018

On 15 December, a stolen car was set alight in the lower Cotter catchment area, near Vanity’s Crossing, causing a grass fire in the surrounding bushland. ACT Fire and Rescue extinguished the blaze, which grew to about 10 metres by 50 metres in size and burned for just over an hour.

It mirrored the incident that filled Canberra with fear in November, when a burnt-out car started the Pierces Creek bushfire that burned out of control for several days before being contained a mere seven kilometres from Kambah.

ACT Fire & Rescue extinguish car fire in Casey

At approximately 7:30 pm last night (Friday 21 December) ACT Fire and Rescue responded to calls about a car on fire on John Crawford Crescent in Casey. One fire pumper attended the scene and put out the fire. No injuries were reported.If you have information or footage of an incident near you, email or send us a Facebook message.

Posted by Breaking247 on Friday, 21 December 2018

An ACT Policing spokesperson said police had attended 34 car fires in the past month but would not say if they had made any arrests or if any suspects had been charged.

While the increasing rates across the intense summer conditions has park rangers and firefighters concerned, police were unable to say why there have been so many cars set on fire and if any investigations were under way.

“ACT Policing acknowledges the psychological, emotional and financial impact when a valuable item such as a car is stolen and destroyed by fire,” a spokesperson said.

“Suspicious vehicle fires reported to ACT Policing are investigated to attempt to determine how the fire started. Arson is a serious offence, and where an offender is identified, appropriate action is taken.”

The spokesperson said police attended 22 car fires on average every month in 2016-17 and 24 a month in 2017-18 but did not have an explanation for the recent spate of fires.

“Crime is always cyclical and there are many contributing factors to these cycles,” the spokesperson said. “ACT Policing is examining any linkages in relation to the increase of incidents in December 2018.”

If anyone is aware of any vehicle fire, deliberate or otherwise, during the fire season, ACT Policing is urging them to report it on Triple Zero immediately.

Anyone with any information about a deliberately set fire should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or via their website. Information can be supplied anonymously.

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11 Responses to Tripling of car fires in December leaves police baffled
Mitch Hanigan Mitch Hanigan 7:42 am 06 Jan 19

Sara see we arent the only ones who have noticed this!

Rowan Al'Thor Rowan Al'Thor 6:02 pm 05 Jan 19

*Hint* It’s because you haven’t caught them yet.

Jordan Mulach Jordan Mulach 11:31 pm 04 Jan 19

Dan Sainty a truly ludicrous amount of N15 pulsars are being torched. Thank god we sold ours

Kriso Hadskini Kriso Hadskini 10:36 pm 03 Jan 19

Great way to start bushfires...such lovely people to be having live around us.

Simon James Barnes Simon James Barnes 10:10 pm 03 Jan 19

Cough cough insurance jobs cough cough need cash after christmas

Katie Lutesinger Katie Lutesinger 7:03 pm 03 Jan 19

The last one was right by my house! Who the hell is doing this? And why?

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